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I paid $$$ – Where is my open access symbol?

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Researchers often pay substantial sums to make the results of their research freely accessible to all. But how to let potential readers know that it’s FREE?  If no one reads your open access paper, it’s like buying someone a gift certificate that they never use. So, the community has agreed on this solution: 

The open access symbol signals to readers that they can expect direct and unrestricted access to published scholarly works. Originally created by PLOS, it quickly gained broad usage on publisher webpages and other sites to identify open access articles. ScienceOpen displays this open access symbol on over 4 million articles.

So how does the open access symbol get there? When a publisher publishes an article, they deposit the article “metadata” – title, authors, abstract, journal, date, URL, etc. with the central DOI service Crossref. Part of the information that they can deposit is a machine-readable Creative Commons open access license. When ScienceOpen imports the metadata information about your publication, it will get an open access symbol if our computers find an open access license associated with it. If a publisher does not deposit license information, we assume that it is not open access. It’s that simple. Continue reading “I paid $$$ – Where is my open access symbol?”  

Publish your Preprint at ScienceOpen

Image credit: Fotolia

You can now publish your preprint directly to ScienceOpen. The discovery platform ScienceOpen will put your work in context and open it up to review with a wide range of author-mediated peer review tools.

Preprints, first draft research manuscripts, have existed almost as long as the Internet. Scientists have been taking advantage of online communication to speed up research for almost 3 decades. ScienceOpen understands the importance of allowing researchers to openly share their results with the scientific community at an early stage in their research. The advantage for researchers is that they get early feedback from peers but can still publish the final version in most peer-reviewed journals of their choosing. To support researchers in fully utilizing the benefits of preprint publishing, ScienceOpen is pleased to launch open and free preprint publishing on our platform! With this beta service, anyone can now upload, publish, and promote their preprint using a free and simple interface with access to a full suite of tools for peer review, constructive discussion through comments, and usage and impact tracking.

We have supported the essential role of preprints in speeding up science from the beginning by integrating arXiv preprints on the platform. Records for over 27,000 bioRxiv preprints in our discovery environment followed suit, along with the capacity to add records from other preprint serves such as Preprints.org, PeerJ Preprints, ChemRxiv, and Open Science Framework repositories. Given our belief in the benefits of preprints in advancing science, it seemed only logical to develop a new feature that will enable all researchers to take advantage of preprints in scholarly research and communications. Continue reading “Publish your Preprint at ScienceOpen”  

Diverse Approaches to Peer Review

Portrait of Albert Einstein in a museum. Source: pixabay.com

Peer Review Week, Sep 10-15, 2018

Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the role of peer review in maintaining scientific quality. This year marks the event’s fourth anniversary of bringing together researchers, institutions, and organizations committed to the message that good peer review is crucial to scholarly communications. This year Peer Review Week on the topic of diversity aims:

  • To emphasize the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication
  • To showcase the work of editors and reviewers
  • To share research and advance best practices
  • To highlight the latest innovation and applications.
    (Source: https://peerreviewweek.wordpress.com/)

Although peer review itself is not as young as the week-long event organized in its celebration, it is still a relatively new invention. Albert Einstein published his original papers in non-peer-reviewed German journals through 1933, most famously in the Annalen der Physik. Max Planck, one of the journal’s editors of the time, described his editorial philosophy as:

To shun much more the reproach of having suppressed strange opinions than that of having been too gentle in evaluating them.

After moving to the US, Einstein was so shocked that his paper submitted to the Physical Review in 1936 was met with negative criticism that he decided not to publish with them at all. Ironically, the paper in question hypothesized that gravitational waves do not exist. In retrospect, peer review saved Einstein the controversy and the embarrassment that would have ensued if he had published his original article. Continue reading “Diverse Approaches to Peer Review”  

In:  Peer Review  

A new gold standard of peer review is needed

How can something exclusive, secretive, and irreproducible be considered to be objective? How can something exclusive, secretive, and irreproducible be considered as a ‘gold standard’ of any sort?

Traditional, closed peer review has these traits, but yet for some reason held in esteem as the most rigorous and objective standard of research and knowledge generation that we have. Peer review fails peer review, and its own test of integrity and validation, and is one of the greatest ironies of the academic world.

What we need is a new standard of peer review that is suitable for a Web-based world of scholarly communication. This is to help accommodate the increasingly rapid communication of research and new sources of information, and bring peer review out of the dark (literally) ages and into one which makes sense in a world of fast, open, digital knowledge dissemination.

What should a standard for peer review look like in 2017?

The big test for peer review, and any future version of it, is how does the scientific community apply its stamp of approval?

Continue reading “A new gold standard of peer review is needed”